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Vegas Business Owner Takes Small Business Concerns to the Hill

Tanya Isley
Shaundell Newsome

Over the last three years, there’s been a record 16 million new small businesses opening but in order for them to thrive they will need policy that empowers them. A group of small business owners including Sumnu Marketing Founder Shaundell Newsome, met with officials from the U.S. Treasury and lawmakers to discuss small business priorities, including tax reform.

The findings of a Small Business for America’s Future survey show that small business owners believe the tax code favors the wealthy and large corporations and that it is time for lawmakers to reform the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to better support small business.

MBE magazine recently interviewed Sumnu Marketing Founder Shaundell Newsome, co-chair of Small Business for America’s Future, to discuss the urgent need to pass policy that supports the needs of small businesses, the recent ruling against the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), and other issues.

Here are a few excerpts from that extended interview. Newsome’s answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Small Business for America’s Future is a national coalition of small business owners and leaders working to provide small businesses a voice at every level of government.

In the following excerpts, Newsome talks about Small Business for America’s Future’s mission and priorities for small businesses.

The importance of his visit with the U.S. Treasury and other lawmakers.

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) is a federal tax code signed into law in 2017. The code lowered the top corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, though this rate only applies to C corporations. Other changes that the TCJA introduced affect S corporations as well as partnerships and sole proprietorships. These changes lowered the effective maximum tax rate for certain taxpayers from 37 percent to 29.6 percent.

Although, this appears to benefit small businesses, many insist that other changes it brought do more harm than good for small businesses. 

Newsome discusses how the TCJA impacts small businesses.

In the wake of the Supreme Court striking down affirmative action programs in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, 600 U.S. 181 (2023), three white men filed a federal lawsuit claiming they were unable to obtain assistance from the MBDA for their respective small businesses—including a sexual and lifestyle health clinic, a project management corporation, and an architecture firm—due to their race. In March, a judge ordered the MBDA to immediately stop considering a business owner’s race or ethnicity in determining whether an applicant may receive business-related benefits and services from MBDA Business Centers, including assistance with accessing capital and pursuing government contracting opportunities.

Newsome discusses how this decision could impact current and future programsfocused on minority businesses.

Finally, Newsome discusses his legacy as a minority business owner and being a voice for other minority and small business owners.

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